March 6 Gold prices held steady early on Monday,
supported by a weaker dollar, after falling to the lowest since
in over two weeks in the previous session after the U.S. Federal
Reserve signaled it would raise interest rates in March.
* Spot gold was little changed at $1,234.51 per ounce
at 0050 GMT. The metal hit $1,222.51, the lowest since Feb. 15,
in the previous session.
* U.S. gold futures were up 0.7 percent to $1,235.1.
* The U.S. Federal Reserve's long-stalled 'liftoff' of
interest rates may finally get airborne this year as
policymakers from Chair Janet Yellen to regional leaders across
the United States signaled that the era of easy money is drawing
to a close.
* Yellen capped off a seemingly coordinated push from the
central bank when she cemented the view that the Fed will raise
interest rates at its next meeting on March 14-15, and likely be
able to move faster after that than it has in years.
* The Fed raised interest rates for only the second time in
a decade at its policy meeting last December, but has forecast
three rate increases this year on the back of the low
unemployment rate - currently 4.8 percent - and rising
* The dollar index was down 0.2 percent to 101.39.
The dollar dipped in Asian trading on Monday, as investors
locked in gains after the greenback's rise last week on growing
expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike this month.
* Market participants also kept an eye on developments in
North Korea, which fired four ballistic missiles early on
Monday, three of which landed in Japan's exclusive economic
zone, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
* Asian shares and U.S. stock futures dropped on Monday as
investors weighed the near-certain prospect of an interest rate
hike in the U.S. against news of slower growth in China this
* Hedge funds and money managers boosted their net long
position in COMEX gold to the highest in more than three months
in the week to Feb. 28, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission data showed on Friday.
* SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.56 percent to
840.58 tonnes on Friday.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0930 Euro zone Sentix index Mar
1500 U.S. Factory orders Jan
(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard